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Cornell Takes Ivy League Opener, 15-7

Clare Curran. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Clare Curran. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Three-Game Winning Streak for Yale Snapped

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A 4-0 run to start the game gave the Cornell women's lacrosse team all the momentum it needed Saturday afternoon at Reese Stadium, as the Big Red never let Yale get closer than within three goals after that and finished with a 15-7 win in the Ivy League opener. Senior attacker Kerri Fleishhacker, freshman midfielder Madeleine Gramigna and sophomore attacker Tess McEvoy scored two goals each for the Bulldogs. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Yale.

After a wide shot on a free position attempt and a save on attacker Nicole Daniggelis kept Yale off the scoreboard early, the Big Red jumped out to that 4-0 lead on goals by three different players -- two from Lindsay Toppe (the 2014 Ivy League Attacker of the Year) and one each from midfielder Amie Dickson (the Ivy League leader in points entering the day) and attacker Catherine Ellis.

"Cornell scored on drives and they scored on assists -- it was a well-balanced offense," said Anne Phillips, Yale's Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Lacrosse.

Senior goalkeeper Erin Mullins mixed in a save on a quick stick shot from point-blank range by midfielder Ida Farinholt in that stretch, and Yale eventually snapped the run on a free position goal by Fleishhacker at 19:28.

After another Big Red goal, the Bulldogs had to kill off a yellow card and did so thanks in part to a Cornell turnover. McEvoy then drove in for a goal that got Yale within 5-2 at 11:06.

Cornell then ran off three straight goals in a span of less than four minutes to go ahead 8-2. By that point the Big Red also had a 9-0 advantage in ground balls, but after senior midfielder Christina Doherty caused a turnover and got the Bulldogs' first ground ball Yale was eventually able to cut into the lead. After Big Red goalie Renee Poullott got low to deny a free position shot by McEvoy, McEvoy got the ground ball. That enabled the Bulldogs to get the ball to senior attacker Erin Magnuson, who drove in from the left side for a goal that extended her goal-scoring streak to five games and make the score 8-3 Cornell heading into halftime.

After a goal by midfielder Kristy Gilbert on a fast break got Cornell's lead to 9-3 at the start of the second half, Yale (3-2, 0-1 Ivy League) settled down and went on a 3-1 run that included a pair of goals by Gramigna and one by Fleishhacker. With the score 10-6, the Bulldogs then had two chances to cut the lead to three -- but the first ended with a turnover, and the second ended with Poullott making a save on a shot by McEvoy with 13 minutes to play.

Cornell (3-1, 1-0 Ivy League) then began working the clock, and also got a fortuitous bounce when Mullins momentarily stopped a shot by Ellis but the ball popped up and bounced over the goal line behind her to make it 11-6 with 8:09 left.

That was the start of a 4-0 run by the Big Red that put the game out of reach; McEvoy scored with 1:02 left and Farinholt's goal with nine seconds left made the final 15-7.

Yale wound up shooting just 7-for-22 (.318) for the game, the Bulldogs' lowest shooting percentage since the season opener in a snowstorm at George Washington.

"At halftime we talked to them about being composed with the ball, and reminded them that they had the ability to make a run and get back in the game," said Phillips. "We got a little bit of a run, and thought we were going to be alright, but in the end we just didn't shoot well."

The Bulldogs won the draw control battle 13-11 thanks in part to four from Doherty, but Cornell had a 16-9 advantage in ground balls and outshot the Bulldogs 32-22. Yale was hurt by the fact that Daniggelis -- the team's leading goal scorer each of the past two seasons -- was limited in her playing time Saturday.

"She's still not all the way back [from injury], and we're trying to be careful with her," said Phillips. "We still won the draw control battle without her being able to get as many as she usually does, but obviously she's a huge piece of the offense and that was something we missed today."

Mullins finished with six saves for the fourth straight game. Poullott made seven.

Yale hosts UMass on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.


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